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Full text of "Design"

The NES MPS - A Stage-Worthy LSDJ/Nanoloop Workstation 



I 



Make Projects 



build, hack, tweak, share, discover,' 



The NES MPS - A Stage- Worthy 



LSDJ/Nanoloop Workstation 



Written By: LoFi Future 



PARTS: 



Empty NES Shell (1) 

Gameboy advance SP (1) 

FX processor (like the Alesis PicoVerb) (1) 

Square arcade buttons (6) 

Small push button switches (4) 



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The NES MPS - A Stage-Worthy LSDJ/Nanoloop Workstation 




• An idea is born. 

• I was trying to come up with a cool new project idea one night when I stumbled across a 
broken NES and a GBA SP. The idea quickly sprang to mind to house the Game Boy 
inside the NES shell somehow. After placing the screen I noticed how much it looked like 
an MPC and decided to use square buttons to really give it the MPC look. 

• I decided to incorporate an old Alesis PicoVerb that I had lying around into the project to 
give it some more functionality. (On the next one I plan to add an analogue LP filter.) 

• After I settled on the design I began to order the parts and start the fabrication process. 



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The NES MPS - A Stage-Worthy LSDJ/Nanoloop Workstation 




• I started with the screen placement. After I decided where to put it I cut a rectangular hole 
and laid the screen in it. I then scuffed up the area where the screen meets the NES and 
applied body filler all around the gap. I then sanded it to a nice smooth curve all the way 
around. 

• The only thing I don't like about this mounting method is the fact you can't remove the 
screen; something I'm definitely going to change in the next design. 

• After the screen was mounted and the hole at the back was cut and I sent it off to be 
painted. This was done in a professional spray booth but the same effect can be achieved 
with something like Krylon Fusion. 



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The NES MPS - A Stage-Worthy LSDJ/Nanoloop Workstation 




After paint, I began to mount the switches and pots. I like to figure out where the controls 
are going first so then later I know how long the wires must be. 




Now for the tricky part: Soldering all the control wires and audio wires to the Game Boy 
circuitry. This was a rather time-consuming task and after two failed attempts I tried one 
final time and even added a 25 pin D-sub connector so the GBA can easily be 
disconnected from the rest of the device. 



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The NES MPS - A Stage-Worthy LSDJ/Nanoloop Workstation 





• Mounting the hardware and PCB 
was pretty easy. The 1/4" jacks 
were soldered directly to the board 
of the PicoVerb and supported the 
PCB fine. After installing the RCA 
outputs I got a piece of metal 
machined out to hold a D-sub 
connector where the original power 
jack was situated. 

• The GameBoy is attached to a 
wooden bracket which is then fixed 
to the shell with 2 screws. 





For power I decided to gut an old 
Xbox power brick and install the 3 
transformers I needed. These were 
to supply 3 rails out of the one 
cable. The rail voltages needed 
were 12V DC (for the lights) 9V AC 
(for the PicoVerb) and 5.2V DC (for 
the Game Boy). 



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The NES MPS - A Stage-Worthy LSDJ/Nanoloop Workstation 





• One of the last things I had to do 
was make use of the cartridge slot 
on the NES. I decided to get a 
metal plate machined out and 
mount the power switches on it 
under the hood. Two of these 
switches let you select whether the 
GBA signal goes to the PicoVerb or 
straight out of the dedicated RCA 
outputs. The remaining 4 switches 
are for the PicoVerb power, the 
LED power and 2 that I have left 
unconnected for the next owner to 
do what they wish with (yes, it is 
for sale!). 

• The power and reset switch on the 
NES are the GBAs power and 
backlight. 



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The NES MPS - A Stage-Worthy LSDJ/Nanoloop Workstation 







• That's it, really; this was a very brief tutorial as this is just a prototype. This particular unit 
is for sale on eBay at the moment (just search NES MPS) and with the money I get for it 
I'm going to build a couple more so I can create a full step-by-step video tutorial. I am also 
planning to build a MIDI interface in the next one to add some more flexibility when used in 
the studio or on stage. 

• For now, check out my blog for build processes and updates! 

• Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed the guide and are interested in building your own 
unit. Now, go make something! 

This document was last generated on 201 2-1 1 -02 1 0:53:23 PM. 



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